Haere ki ngā wā o mua ka haurapa ki te ao o ngā taonga rongonui, atakite hoki, i te taha o Dame Anne Salmond, me ana kōrero whakahirahira mō Aotearoa. I hangaia mā te tautoko a Irirangi te Motu.

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The Power of Gifts


HERO ARTEFACT: HOE – there are more than 20 hoe in collections around the world.
LOCATION: Hancock Museum, Newcastle, UK

The hoe (or paddle) is a remarkable taonga because it was one of many exchanged by Māori from the East Coast (Tai Rawhiti) with crew from the Endeavour in 1769. The hoe represents the very first cultural encounter and exchange that took place at a time when Māori and European knowledge of each other’s worlds was completely non-existent.

The hoe was part of a set used to paddle a waka taua (war canoe). It’s thought the hoe were probably given as a gift to Tupaia, the Tahitian priest-navigator-interpreter who accompanied Cook and his men to New Zealand. Oral history says Māori knew he was on board and they wanted to make a connection with him.

Descendants of the Māori who exchanged these hoe with crew on the Endeavour in 1769 are keenly interested in the hoe and value them for their intricate carved and painted designs as well as for their beautiful form.

Additional artefacts in this episode and where to visit them:

Kaitaka given to Joseph Banks 1769 – Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, UK

Brass patu made by Joseph Banks (based on a patu onewa) – Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford

Rangihoua Pa, - near Kerikeri

Te Pahi’s medal – Te Papa Tongarewa

Self-portrait of Hongi Hika (carved) – Te Kōngahu / Museum of Waitangi

Kororipo Pa – Russell

Korowai given by Hongi Hika to King George in 1820 – British Museum